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Live From UIC Pavilion in Chicago, Sunday, April 5

Las Vegas, NV (USA) – It didn’t take long for bantamweight challenger Takeya Mizugaki (11-2-2) to realize that he wasn’t in Japan anymore. After a 6300-mile journey brought the 25-year-old from Kanagawa, Japan to Chicago, IL this past Saturday, Mizugaki found himself standing in the center of one of the greatest sports towns in the world. Surrounded by images of the hometown Cubs, White Sox, Bulls, and Blackhawks, Mizugaki was in brief awe of the sights and sounds of the Windy City.

When the admiration eventually wore off, reality set in. Mizugaki had not arrived in Chicago to marvel at the picturesque surroundings. Rather, the Japanese striker landed in Chicago to defeat one of the city’s most decorated and celebration champions.

“I came here to fight maybe the greatest champion in MMA today,” Mizugaki said of WEC® bantamweight champion and Chicago native Miguel Angel Torres (35-1), whom Mizugaki will face this Sunday at the UIC Pavilion. “Fighting in a great sports town like Chicago, I am excited about everything.

“I have never seen Torres lose a fight, but I’m ready for the challenge.”

Since stepping foot in Chicago, Mizugaki has quickly adjusted to life in the U.S. and is spending the final week fine-tuning his game plan. Unlike traditional Japanese fighters, Mizugaki prefers an aggressive, stand-up fight and has made sure his striking is on point. Boasting devastating knees and cinder-block fists, the former Shooto veteran is confident that he will ready because his team has studied the strengths and weaknesses of Torres.

Simply put, Mizugaki, who owns a master’s degree in electrical engineering, believes he can diffuse the champion’s circuits.

“My manager (Shu Hirata) arranged a training session with a bunch of ex-UFC fighters who saw the fight where Miguel lost vs. Ryan Ackerman,” Mizugaki said of Torres’ lone loss in 2003. “They gave me plenty of useful advice, so I know exactly what I need to do to win. My plan is still the same; I am going to strike. I want to win the WEC belt and I’m prepared to break Miguel down.”

Tickets for World Extreme Cagefighting® are on sale now and available for purchase through the UIC Pavilion, online at or by calling Ticketmaster at 312-559-1212.

World Extreme Cagefighting will be televised live nationally on VERSUS beginning at 9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT. All live WEC events are presented in Hi-Definition (HD) where available. For more information and how to find VERSUS in your local viewing area, visit

In the co-main event, Island Lake, Illinois’ Jeff Curran looks to make his case for a shot at the belt when he battles undefeated phenom Joseph Benavidez.

A longtime favorite of the Midwest fight scene, former WEC featherweight contender and title challenger Jeff “Big Frog” Curran (31-10-1) has long had his sights set on Miguel Torres, and he has even dropped down to the bantamweight division to chase his local rival. There is business to take care of for both men first though, and for Curran, that means his clash with Joseph Benavidez on April 5th. So expect the 30-year old Curran to come out with guns blazing in order to move forward in the crowded bantamweight division.

The 24-year old Joseph Benavidez (9-0) came to the WEC last December with a lot of hype due to his raw talent and impressive previous performances, and he lived up to the expectations with a big win over Danny Martinez. Now the stablemate of former WEC featherweight champion Urijah Faber is ready for the next step in his career, and for him, there would be nothing better than to add the name Jeff Curran to his victims list.

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